Friday, March 25, 2016

Getting back in touch with you all...

Wow, 2016 is going by just as the last few years have. Part of that of course is how busy I am. Since I'm only babysitting the two little grandkids on an as-needed basis this year, my focus has gone back to catching up on writing. And that I have been doing with a vengeance!

First of all, I've had my first novel release of the year. FORGED BY FLAME, the first Sudarnian Chronicles book, came out around the beginning of the month. This book is published by Pro Se Press under my HANSEN'S WAY imprint. So happy to see this one out at last! 

This is a book that started being written when my sons were very young, and they are now both in their 30s. There's something to be said for perseverance, as well as hanging onto a dream. It's a grand adventure that opens a series that is accessible to advanced readers 12 and up, and totally appropriate for adults as well. And it has dragons! Everybody loves big, nasty-tempered, fire-breathing dragons. These dragons are no Smaug; willing to exchange banter in a battle of wits with you. These dragons are intelligent predators like wolves, except that some of them fly and all of them want to flambĂ© you and have you for dinner right now, with no prior warning or exchange of unpleasantries. Interestingly enough, it's the actions of 4 young people that make a world of difference in just how successful this new pestilence of the realm of Sudarnia becomes. Yeah, I'm quite proud of how this story turned out.

FORGED BY FLAME is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Now what else do I have going on?

Glad you asked! So far this year I have sent out two anthologies, both of them going to Pro Se Press. Both have been previously mentioned, but because they are now in the publisher's hands, I'm going to bring them up again.

LAZLO AT HOME is completed and has been turned in to Pro Se for their YOUNG PULP imprint. It's a novella-sized collection of 4 Lazlo Dragon stories, and boy can that little blue guy get himself involved in some interesting misadventures! You can read a bit more about it on this blog's sister site, COMPANION DRAGONS TALES

I also recently turned in THE SONG OF HEROES anthology. That is a story line I started for the old Pro Se magazines, and in fact two of them ran in different issues a couple years apart. There are four stories all told; the third one never saw print and the fourth is brand new, written this year. 

Hoping to see that TSOH and the aforementioned Lazlo antho next year (2017), but only time will tell. Once I send them off to the publisher, the matter is out of my hands.

Now before I go on about what I am currently working on, I'd like to mention an editing project near and dear to my heart. One of the nicest things about writing these days is being able to network with other writers and keep up with what they are doing. So when dear old online pal and writing/editing buddy Lee Houston Jr. came to me with his second ALPHA superhero tale wanting input and advice, I was more than happy to help out. Hey, I get to read it before anyone else does! And I'll tell you folks this book is a great read. I had the privilege of being able to do the first big content edit on it, and I devoured the story, it's just that good—and me not a big superhero or comics fan. There's so much heart and soul in this tale you can't help cheering for the caped man in sky blue and white as he struggles to find his place in a world that is not his own. Lee is finishing up his final pass before he turns it in to Pro Se, so keep an eye on his blog or his Facebook and G+ accounts for news. You don't want to miss out on this one. 

And if you haven't as yet read the first book in the series PROJECT: ALPHA, make sure you nab a copy of that too. That's also a great read.

So what's on my hard drive right now you ask?

Well I've been toggling back and forth between two novels: the next Greenwood Cycle fantasy novel for HANSEN'S WAY (the series that started with FORTUNE'S PAWN) as well as my third pirate book for AIRSHIP 27. I'm still toying with title ideas for the fantasy, though in very rough draft format it is about 4/5 complete. I'll know by the second pass what to call it. The pirate tale is just past the halfway point and is tentatively titled JEZEBEL JOHNSTON: SEA WITCH

I've been switching back and forth between both novels lately as the spirit moves me.

In the wings I have a bare-bones start on a western adventure romance. I kinda got the western bug when I wrote that Senorita Scorpion short story a couple years ago, and I've been itching to do another. The lyrics to a favorite song kind of inspired me to get some words down on a page. This one looks like it might want to be a novel too. We'll see how that turns out. It's something I pick away at now and then. 

Because the learning curve in writing westerns is about as steep as in nautical adventures under canvas, it's not a project to be taken lightly. I want to do a good job on not only making it a good western adventure, but also a great story with likable and unforgettable characters. A little romance never hurt anyone none either, ya know.

Things I can kind of talk about...

I have been asked to write a short story for an anthology project that I can't elaborate on except to say it is horror and I was graciously invited in. I've submitted three possible ideas for that one, so that the people behind it can cross-check with other authors involved and make sure we're not all writing the same scenario. I'm waiting to hear on that now, but I am keeping so busy with what I already have  on my plate, I'm not the least bit impatient. You want these multi-author things to come together well, and that takes a lot of planning on the part of the folks hosting it.

Which reminds me, we are all still awaiting the arrival of the Steampunk Superhero altiverse anthology SINGULARITY. The fellow behind it, Mr. Jaime Ramos, has set up a readers page on FACEBOOK that you can join and access HERE (you'll need to sign in to FB first). I hope you do go look it over, Jaime has put a ton of work into both getting this anthology together, and promoting it. 

I will update you here on the blog whenever we get news about this interesting world of transhumans, mutated gifted folks, evil monarchs, and nasty poisonous gas that fills the air. If that is enough incentive, I don't know what will be, other than comics writing legend Mr. David Michelinie as well as a passel of other talented folks are involved in this project along with Your's Truly.

And yes, I am still writing the monthly column for my town newsletter. This June it will begin my 4th year of doing that without ever missing a deadline. That is what separates the hobbyists from the passionate pro—that urge to sit down at the desk each day and pound something out on the keyboard.

Other than making sure I update folks on what I am doing on my Facebook and Google+ walls almost daily, that's about the extent of my writing. Of course I still read just about every night on my Kindle, in bed before I go to sleep. A good writer is always a voracious reader, and there's something to be learned from every book. Life around me is a great inspiration in itself, and I hope I never get tired of this. I love what I do, and look forward to it each and every day. I hope you all enjoy reading it at least half as much as I did writing it.

Writing onward,